• How big is too big – console size matters

    The size of a user’s workstation can have a significant impact on productivity. 

    As a part of our ongoing series about Control Room design, we want to answer the question, how big is too big?

    When deciding on the design of your workstation, you need to consider certain basic concepts: 

    Project space

    Every control room is created with a specific purpose in mind.

    Image of large consoles taking up room in project space

    Whether following a set of guidelines or designing on a blank page, the following needs to be considered:

    Can you physically fit all your workstations into your project space?

    Is there room for your staff to work comfortably? Are they spaced too closely or are your staff too far apart?

    Is your console design factoring in future tasks or expansion?

    Focusing on your project goals will help you establish the space’s functionality and accessibility. From the number of workstations ordered to their unique design specifications, you must evaluate how existing furniture and structural elements integrate into the working day.

    For example, the newer consoles may share an environment with technology such as video walls or massive monitor arrays, which require daily access and are shared by multiple personnel.

    Worktop shape

    The worktop shape has a huge influence on the performance and functions of the user.

    Big Desk worktop with a lot of modern technology and monitors

    Many organisations already have an idea of what worktop shape may be most suitable for their processes, but strongly considered workspace design will help you to avoid creating a haphazard environment and have a coordinated system.

    You need to consider questions such as:

    Will the console be arranged as a part of a group or cluster of workstations?

    Will the workstations be placed to support collaboration or be free-standing for solo use?

    Do the consoles fulfil more than one system function?

    Does the worktop shape meet the ergonomic needs of the user, such as distance, with the equipment that they will use? 

    Screen support

    If you are looking for great support, you need the correct monitor arms to do the job.

    Slat rail render to show Axiom arm in action

    Naturally, the bigger the console, the larger the screens you can fit.

    Monitor arms are vital to support dynamic working practices and the usability of any sized console. Whether fitted onto a tool rail or a C-Clamp, monitor arms open up more usable surface space for the user, ensuring a less cluttered, busy workspace and adjust when the situation requires.

    Whether you use tools such as Axiom Monitor Arm or Arc Monitor Arm, there are many options available to ensure that you maximise your workspace.

    Technology and future design

    Many workstations we create for our clients are made to house new powerful technologies.

    Worktop direct view with different gadgets and equipment

    The right console size and design will ensure users can access the vital tools they need while remaining updatable and easily repairable. 

    Workstations should be designed to be modular, allowing making subsequent changes and expansions easily implementable.

    Any design you put forward, particularly the size, needs to ensure a productive workflow and user experience that is inherently future-proof. 

    Goals of your project

    At this stage you need to go back to your project brief and consider the reasons why you are ordering a larger workstation:

    3D illustration of control room environment pre-visualisation

    What are the goals of your project?

    The project could have other concerns such as style and improved aesthetics that make users feel they are a part of a wider mission. 

    When do you need the project delivered?

    The shape of your project needs to ensure that your original intentions are delivered, and if they give you the results you seek. 

    Does the worktop need to adopt an unconventional shape?

    Balancing the practical with the aspirational is at the heart of design thinking. 

    Multiple Desk Options visualisation for Control Rooms

    How big is too big?

    A workstation can only be too big if it fails to do what it needs to do. Having the right type of workstation is more important than the size. 

    Horizon Consoles has succeeded in delivering many varied and diverse projects, with a breadth of knowledge across industries that allows us to be agile and effective. 

    We can provide solutions for any situation, ensuring productivity, functionality, and ergonomic comfort with in-house design and manufacturing. 

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